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Computer Systems Posts - Page 5

Steam Machines will begin their lounge room takeover in November

GDC 2015 - Valve has unleashed the Steam Link, Steam Controller pricing and availability as well as the Source 2 engine at GDC 2015. But the company has also teased that Steam Machines will be made available in November.

 

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Valve said in a press release: "Steam Machines will start at the same price point as game consoles, with higher performance". Valve will also be launching the new Steam Controller at the same time, as well as Steam Link which will extend Steam throughout your house over your current network.

 

The company is currently showing off over a dozen Steam Machines from partners like Alienware and Falcon Northwest, where they added: "Steam Machines will start at the same price point as game consoles, with higher performance. Customers interested in the best possible gaming experience can choose whichever components meet their needs".

Not a Rubix Cube - much cooler. Waterproof linux-powered cube PC

With six 16x16 displays giving you the ability to run various applications, the Cuberox PC project sets out to be the perfect home solution.

 

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When turned off this product looks like just a general cube, but this waterproof casing houses a fully-functional computer within. Running on a Linux operating system, this product allows users to run different applications on each side of the cube, alongside giving developers full reign of application support and development through APR written on JavaScript.

 

Achieving a full waterproof seal thanks to wireless charging, this Kickstarter project also features some cool things like built-in speakers and a multicolor smart backlight. If you're feeling extra special you can partake in multiplayer games or even apparently install office on your device.

 

With just under $30,000 pledged of their $150,000 goal and 30 days to go, purchasing a basic package price of $199 will see you receive your cube at a special $100 off the final retail price.

Continue reading 'Not a Rubix Cube - much cooler. Waterproof linux-powered cube PC' (full post)

Galaxy simulation dataset system runs 7680x4320, or 8K at 60FPS

Researchers have used custom built PCs to display a galaxy simulation dataset at 7680x4320, or 8K. This mammoth display set up was pushing out 128 million particles across the 16 displays.

 

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As for the PCs, they were running an Intel Core i7-980X, ASUS P6T motherboard, 6GB of Corsair Dominator GT 2000MHz DDR3 RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 video cards, and 1 and 10GbE network connectivity. The team used 55-inch digital signage (1080p displays) with 7mm combined bezel. When it comes to software, the researchers use cgIX that "synchronizes the user input and drawing loop across all of the machines. On top of that is a custom application I developed that does out-of-core particle and volume rendering". Multiple computers are driving the 16 displays, where at any given time there were 4, 8 or 16 computers driving the displays.

 

What was the insane 8K set up of displays used for? The researcher explained on Reddit: "To support high-resolution visualization of large-scale particle datasets. Specifically, enabling the human visualization system to continue be used as an interrogation tool as the size of simulation datasets grows. Without these types of high resolution displays, it would become impractical to actually look at datasets that grow beyond the giga-scale because you simply couldn't get anything rendered on a single display screen that captures both detail and scale".

Hewlett-Packard enjoying Lenovo's current Superfish PR disaster

Lenovo is withstanding a public relations nightmare after being caught installing the Superfish software on systems - much to the entertainment of rivals. It's just a great time to poke fun at the No. 1 PC and laptop manufacturer in the world, as the company has seen tremendous growth in the consumer and business markets in recent years.

 

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Hewlett-Packard offered the following tweet:

 

 

HP also linked to a blog post in which it said it "does not pre-install software to enhance customer experience, but there is a key difference between most preinstalled software and Superfish."

Old tech comes back in fashion - Commodore 65 sold for 22k

Also known as the Commodore 64DX, Hackaday has spotted this piece of technological history for sale on eBay - eventually going for the cool price of $22,862.01 via the method of auction.

 

 

Including a whopping 128kB of RAM (expandable to 8MB) and a 1280x400 resolution displaying 4096 colors, this model was Commodore's last project in the early 1990's before the company was liquidated completely.

 

The C65's on hand were sold to members of the public after this closure and it's likely that the PC's which have been occasionally popping up on eBay are these exact ones. In regards to the high price, it's certainly not unusual - the last system spotted on eBay sold for $20,100 and even featured some missing parts.

 

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Continue reading 'Old tech comes back in fashion - Commodore 65 sold for 22k' (full post)

Raspberry Pi 2 reacts badly to Xenon flashes, freezing and crashing

Every tech site has been signing the praises of the brand new Raspberry Pi 2. Featuring double the RAM of its predecessor, a quad-core processor and more, you can basically build a fully-functional general-use machine running on the new Windows 10 platform for a tiny investment.

 

 

You've purchased a Pi 2 for yourself, set it up and pulled out your camera to take a few pictures and share them on your favorite forums - big mistake! According to recent findings, any camera containing a Xenon flash will cause the system (whilst in operation) to freeze or turn off.

 

No - we're not joking. There hasn't been an official statement yet from the manufacturers, but plenty of users have reported the same issue upon testing their own units. Apparently due to shielding issues, if you've got a Raspberry Pi 2 and a Xenon-flash equipped camera, we'd love you to share your results with us.

Continue reading 'Raspberry Pi 2 reacts badly to Xenon flashes, freezing and crashing' (full post)

Microsoft vows to support the Raspberry Pi 2 - offering up Windows 10

Unsure if the Raspberry Pi 2 is for you? Microsoft are putting their might behind this latest product offering - announcing that it's "delivering a version of Windows 10 that supports Raspberry Pi 2."

 

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The 2nd generation of Raspberry Pi offers a more powerful processor and twice as much RAM. Often toted by retro-game emulators worldwide as an optimum product, you could always install versions of Windows on the device, however Microsoft is now working to directly offer up an Operating System tailored for this tiny computer system.

 

There will be more information released later as to how exactly Microsoft will be supporting the Raspberry Pi 2, with them stating this will come "in the coming months."

 

Set to retail for $35 and now with a specially-tailored Windows 10 offering - you can likely sort yourself out a fully-functional home computer for a tiny price.

Continue reading 'Microsoft vows to support the Raspberry Pi 2 - offering up Windows 10' (full post)

Maingear refreshes high-end PCs with NVIDIA GTX 960 GPU

System manufacturer MAINGEAR is embracing the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 video card, rolling out the new GPU in its VYBE, SHIFT, and FORCE desktop models. All three models can be customized based on consumer needs, with MAINGEAR pointing out that the new GTX 960 "delivers up to 60 percent faster performance and improves energy efficiency."

 

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The VYBE gaming desktop is powered by an Intel Core i5 CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 GPU, and 8GB of DDR3 RAM - with a current promotional price of $999.

 

"The integration of NVIDIA's GTX 960 GPU further cements MAINGEAR as the dominant leader in high performance gaming hardware," said Wallace Santos, founder and CEO of MAINGEAR, in a press statement. "NVIDIA's newest GPU delivers the performance of high-end video cards without the premium price. We are impressed by its features and the extra horsepower."

Continue reading 'Maingear refreshes high-end PCs with NVIDIA GTX 960 GPU' (full post)

Intel predicts continued cheap laptops in 2015

The PC market has taken a beating over the last decade, but the recent stabilization is fueled in part by lower price points. While PC shipments haven't entirely leveled off, they are much better than the 10% decline experienced in 2013. Intel has owned a near-monopoly on desktop processors for several years, and many suspect artificially high CPU prices helped contribute to the decline of the PC. Affordability is a huge consideration for potential buyers, especially when they typically have smartphones that can easily handle most simple online tasks.

 

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Laptops are now available for roughly $200 that can provide enough performance for many more tasks than any tablet or smartphone. Intel actually predicted during their recent investor call that prices will decline slightly over the coming year. Intel reported an 11% increase in laptop CPU sales, but an 3% decline in profits from those sales. The number of desktop CPU's declined by 1%, but the average prices have stabilized. Perhaps some more competition in this space would result in lower PC CPU pricing, which would certainly help fuel a resurgence much like the one seen with laptops.

Intel's PC sales are up, claiming prices will stay low in 2015

Intel's fourth-quarter earnings pointed towards a rise in PC shipments, with it being noted that fully capable, lightweight laptops are available on the market for less than $200 - Intel claim that this trend of pricing is set to stay and may even fall lower than expected.

 

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Intel's CEO, Brian Krzanich, pointed out that PC shipments are expected by Intel to stabilize in 2015, further stating that the prices for consumer desktops and laptops may fall slightly. Adding to the market is the thin-and-light laptops as mentioned above, with numerous systems being available and running on Chrome OS or Windows for a tiny price of $199, we're seeing products available like never before.

 

Reporting a fourth-quarter revenue of $14.7 billion, up six percent from 2014, Intel's Krzanich stated that "the innovation and options in the PC market have never been stronger," with Intel obviously setup to reap the benefits. 2014 wasn't a great year for the PC, but thanks to the recently released earnings we can see that the PC Client group revenue has been raised three percent when compared to the fourth-quarter in 2014, alongside the number of chips sold in laptops increasing by an impressive 11 percent.

Continue reading 'Intel's PC sales are up, claiming prices will stay low in 2015' (full post)

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